There are many ways to synchronize an audio narration with power-point slides. The first way is to record your narration as you play the slides (‘Slide Show’ tab, ‘Record Narration’). Microsoft Power-point will automatically record your voice and save the slide transition time thus synchronize the slides with the narration . This is the best and the easiest way to get the job done. But often this is not the case.

A second scenario is when you have a prerecorded narration or music to which you want to synchronize your slides. There are two methods to achieve this, first you can use the sound/audio file as a transition sound effect and the second method is to import the audio file into the PowerPoint. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. But I prefer the second method as it serves my purpose better. In both cases the transition of slides is controlled by preset time intervals at which the slides make the transition with respect to the previous slide transition.

1. Synchronize Slides With Audio As Transition Sound Effect

One method to synchronize a sound clip with slide is to set the intended sound file as a transition in the first slide. For this select the first slide and then go to the ‘Animations’ tab and select the ‘Transitions Sound’ dropdown box. From the dropdown box select the ‘Other Sound…’. This will popup the file browser from which you can select the sound file (.wav) that you want to have the slides synchronized to.


This method will only allow ‘.wav’ files to be added and this is one of the drawbacks. More over the wav file is way too big compared to an MP3 file. So it’s likely that it will be linked rather than embedded to the PowerPoint presentation.


The next step of synchronizing the slides is common to both the methods. It’s to set the time delay for each slide before it makes transition to the next one. This delay is in seconds. So the drawback is it won’t work as expected unless the whole presentation is played automatically without any interference.

2. Synchronize Slides With Imported/Inserted Sound/Audio Clip

This method only has a slight difference with the previous one. The difference is in how we use the sound file. This time we import the sound file and it supports MP3 files as well. To do this go to the ‘Insert’ tab, Press the down arrow below the ‘Sound’ Icon, which is in the ‘Media Clips’ Group. Then Press the ‘Sound from File’ option that pops up the file browser. Select the Sound file that you want and then it might ask you if you want the file to be played automatically or when the sound icon is clicked. If your presentation is automatic you need to have it start automatically.


Now you can either drag the sound icon out of the canvas to hide it or you can check the checkbox ‘Hide During Show’ in the ‘Options’ tab. The options tab will only be available once you click the Sound Icon. The ‘Maximum Sound File Size (KB)’ option enables you to change the size limit of the sound file that can be embedded in the presentation. If the file size is bigger than that size specified here then the file is only linked rather than being embedded. If the file is only linked then you must copy the linked files when you want to copy the presentation.


The next step of synchronizing the sound with the slides is the same as the previous method. Set the time delay for each slide before it makes transition to the next one.